Thursday, October 20, 2011

HP's Ed McCarthy on expanding your business with wide format

Yes, I’m aware that this video (see link below, and there’s also a written transcript, if you want to read the Q&A interview instead of listening to it) first appeared in April, but it is still very relevant today, so I’m posting a link to it, see below.

To me – given my background as a reprographer – the most interesting thing about “wide-format” (or “large-format”, if you prefer that term) is that “reprographers” were the first “sub-industry” (within the greater Printing and Graphics Industry) to offer “wide-format” digital printing services. We did that back in the 1980’s – for plotting drawings from A/E firms – and, after the first color RIP was developed and married to an electrostatic color plotter (I think that was the Cactus system), reprographers began to offer large-format digital COLOR prints. That happened right around 1990 or 1991, if I’m recalling the time-frame correctly. So, when the A/E/C reprographics industry was in recession, back around that time, reprographers had something new to offer (wide-format color printing) to customers who were not in the A/E/C business. Later, color photo labs began to offer “digital” large-format color printing, rather than just photographic large-format color printing. And, later, copy shops all around the U.S. (if not the planet Earth) began to get large-format digital color printers, as did sign companies, such as Fastsigns. (Fastsigns hired Jeff Youngblood to “roll-out” large-format digital color printing services; Jeff had formerly been the digital manager at Thomas Reprographics.) Inasmuch as the HP video appeared on “”, which is a web-site primarly devoted to the “printing” industry (as opposed to the “reprographics” industry), don’t be surprised if many, many “offset” printers begin to offer wide-format digital color printing services (many are already doing that.) The wide-format digital color printing market is growing more crowded every month. Competition for wide-format digital color printing business has certainly had a negative (from the producer’s perspective, not from the customer’s perspective) impact on pricing. Oh well.

HP's Ed McCarthy on expanding your business with wide format

Published on April 5, 2011

Everyone is looking for a competitive edge and growing their business further. Ed McCarthy, HP's Large Format Marketing Manager, shares the secret of how to make the decision to grow your business in the large format world.

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